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why I probably would not make a good FSO

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There is only one reason why I don't think I would be a good Foreign Service Officer.

It's not the exam.
It's not the work-related cognitive dissonance of promoting American foreign policy that I might not agree with.
It's not the meetings, the protocol, or the constant visa requests.

It's the socializing.

I'm just not very good at networking and making nice and smiling and small talk (see previous post about the SAIS alum unhappy hour).

But for MoBob's sake, I went with him to the Moroccan Embassy for Throne Day which commemorates the current king's acession. It's the most important secular national holiday in Morocco. Given that MoBob has accompanied me to many a 4th of July celebration, I figured it was only fair. We did have a minor skirmish over his outfit; the invitation said "tenue de ville" (business) and MoBob wanted to wear his interview suit without a tie. I thought this made him look like a sleazy rug merchant. Not that I told him. I finally convinced him to wear his white dress shirt, khakis (Old Navy!), and a red tie so he looked like an annoyed frat boy instead. Good job!

So we picked up Imane, a Peace Corps volunteer whose father is Moroccan and who was born in Morocco, and randomly drove around the chi-chi area of town before finally arriving at the ambassador's residence. It was pretty swish all around, even though celebrations were low-key because of the situation in Lebanon. The snacks were fine, the ambassador's speech was short, and MoBob looked dapper while talking with his Moroccan cronies. Imane and I made stood around and made fun of people in English for awhile and then we had to smile and socialize.

My fatal mistake was telling the ambassador's wife that I didn't like couscous. Alas, that was the main dish. At the very least, my confession was a personal gaffe, and not a diplomatic one. (I could see her thinking, "No wonder this woman's dowry was only $20!")

On another note, mynuet kindly plugged Heifer Int.'s work. Thanks, chica! I too feel like I should make mooing noises when I say my future employer's name.
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On August 2nd, 2006 05:32 pm (UTC), mokey4 commented:
I agree- I wouldn't want to do all the stupid socializing associated with embassy life. It's too fake. I don't mind networking when I feel like it, but I've never been good at it in a forced situation.
[User Picture]
On August 3rd, 2006 09:04 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
Especially overseas when your professional network overlaps so much with social circles!
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On August 4th, 2006 03:45 am (UTC), (Anonymous) commented:
You don't like couscous?!?!?!? I am aghast. I would say that maybe you just hadn't tried the *right* couscous, but you are, after all, married to a Moroccan and have spent considerable time there. What is it about it that you don't like? The texture? All couscous or just small grain?

Fortunately I don't think not liking couscous will be any problem in LR!

JaneAnne
[User Picture]
On August 4th, 2006 09:30 am (UTC), ticklethepear replied:
I have eaten a lot of couscous in my time and haven't liked any of them. I don't know if it's the texture, the sauce, or what. The only couscous I can actually consume is at the in-laws' and that a lot for me. Ugh.
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